This interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is either a topographical surname for a 'dweller at the meadow-end', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'maed', a meadow, with 'ende', the end, or perhaps a locational name from a so called 'lost' village, with the same derivation. The phenomenon of the 'lost' village was a result of enforced land clearance during the height of the woollen industry, (12th Century and 13th Century) to make way for sheep pasture, and it is thought that there are between seven and ten thousand such places that have disappeared from British maps. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1332 (see below), James Meeden (1571), Clement Meden (1573), John Meaden was christened on November 19th 1637 at St. Botolph's without Aldgate, and Edward Meaden married Gillment Tarry on February 18th 1657, at St. Katherine-by-the-Tower, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo ate Medende, which was dated 1332, Subsidy Rolls of Surrey, during the reign of King Edward 111, 'The Father of the Navy', 1327-1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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